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Feds add financial fuel to future of Calgary’s public transit
Published Friday, July 24, 2015 1:21PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, July 24, 2015 6:28PM MDT
Upcoming public transit projects in Calgary received a significant financial boost from the federal government on Friday and the investment means Calgarians should be able to reach all corners of the city by CTrain within the next ten years.
The new Public Transit Fund is intended to provide support for large-scale transit projects to address congestion and reduce travel times and free up funding for other infrastructure items.
“The single largest federal infrastructure investment in the history of the City of Calgary, a major investment that together with our municipal and provincial partners will ensure that Calgary has the rapid transit infrastructure to make this dynamic city move into the future,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism. “Our government will contribute up to one third of the costs for the public transit system proposal, approximately $1.53 billion once a formal application has been received and approved.”
Construction on the LRT line extension is expected to get underway in 2017 and it is anticipated that the project will be completed by 2024.
Council approved funding for The Green Line, which will run from North Pointe in north central Calgary to Seton in the southeast, in January of 2014 and when it is completed it will double the size of the existing rail line.
“Calgary’s Green Line will provide relief for overcrowded transit corridors, connect Calgarians to each other and further facilitate commercial flows through the City. Federal support will be allocated to projects based on merit and delivered through alternative financing and funding mechanisms involving the private sector that demonstrate value for money for taxpayers,” said Michelle Rempel, Minister of State.
“Building the Green Line from North Pointe to Seton essentially doubles the LRT network in Calgary. This is a very big deal, that is over 40 kilometres of track and it will make a huge difference, as I said, to tens of millions of passengers every single year,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
Nenshi says the funds will also be used to improve bus and shuttle service.
“We will in fact be funding a number of bus rapid transit and transitway projects that will serve every single corner of the city including the Southwest Transitway, the north crosstown bus rapid transit, the south crosstown bus rapid transit, one that’s very close to my heart, the 17th avenue Southeast Transitway as well as, of course the Green Line,” he said.
The mayor says this is the largest, single project federal investment in infrastructure in Alberta’s history and will benefit all Canadians.
“Calgarians in every single part of the city will benefit from these unprecedented investments, the single largest growth of Calgary Transit in history,” said Nenshi. “The creation of the Public Transit Fund is an incredibly meaningful moment for all Canadians who live in cities, indeed for all Canadians.”
The Public Transit Fund is part of the New Building Canada Plan and an investment of $80 billion has been committed to support infrastructure projects across the country over the next years.
For more information on Calgary's future public transit projects click HERE.